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Car Insurance 101

Tired of insurance speak? At BCAA, we use human speak to explain your car insurance options and help you save money.

In BC, basic car insurance is required by law but there are many non-mandatory coverage add-ons available. The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is the only provider of basic car insurance in the province. It provides a minimum level of protection, but it doesn’t cover everything – just you know, the basics.

Most BC drivers top up their basic car insurance with optional coverage (non-mandatory). Unlike basic car insurance, drivers have the choice to use a private insurance company, like BCAA, for their optional car insurance. It provides extra protection for things like chipped windshields, break-ins, vehicle repair costs and more.

Check out our basic and optional coverage grid below for more information.

If you’re looking to save on car insurance, consider shopping around for optional car insurance and explore your options. You might be surprised at the lower rates. Afterall, you have a choice when it comes to picking your optional car insurance provider. The next time you renew your car insurance simply take a few minutes to ask about your optional car insurance options and get a quote for comparison. You could save, get better coverage, or both.

You can also get a BCAA Optional Car Insurance quote online in minutes to see how much you could save.

Buying & Renewing Car Insurance in BC

Eligible customers with policies effective May 2022 and onward, can now renew their ICBC policy online. Whether you choose to renew online, by phone or in person, BCAA is here for you. If you’re buying a new ICBC policy, need to make changes to your coverage or have any questions, please call or visit us.

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Renew Online Now

Eligible customers with policies effective May 2022 and onward, can now renew their ICBC policy online. Make sure to select BCAA as your selected broker and we’ll make sure everything looks right.

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Give Us a Call

Renew your car insurance easily by phone. Simply call us at 1.888.268.2222 Monday to Friday from 8am – 6pm, and Saturday from 9am – 5pm. Just make sure you have access to email.

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Visit a BCAA Service Location

BCAA has 29 service locations across the province for in-person help. Click below to get started and book an appointment online or by phone for your local BCAA Service Location. 

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We’ll take care of all your car insurance needs, including mandatory ICBC Autoplan coverage, and give you a real choice in optional car insurance.


ICBC Basic

Mandatory coverage provided by ICBC and sold at BCAA.

BCAA Optional

Optional coverage provided by BCAA.

Third Party Liability

Protects you when you’re at-fault in a crash outside BC and another person makes a claim against you to cover their injury costs and vehicle damage. It also protects you if you damage someone’s property such as if you hit and damage another person's fence.

Up to $200,000  

Enhanced Care Coverage

Effective May 1, 2021: If you’re injured in a crash, ICBC will provide unlimited medical care and recovery benefits for treatments like physiotherapy, chiropractic, dental care, counselling, and more. Plus, up to $100,000 in lost wages, regardless of who was responsible for the crash.


Basic Vehicle Damage Coverage

Effective May , 2021: In the event of a crash that’s not your fault, your policy will cover your vehicle repairs up to a limit of $200,000.

Up to $200,000  

Underinsured Motorist Protection

Covers you if the person responsible for a crash doesn’t have enough insurance to pay for your claim.

Up to $1 million  

Inverse Liability Protection

Protects your vehicle in parts of Canada and the US where local laws restrict your coverage.


Collision Coverage

Covers damage to your vehicle when you hit another vehicle, object or surface of the road, regardless of who was at-fault.


Comprehensive Coverage

Covers damage to your vehicle that’s not from car-to-car collision like break-ins, chipped windshields and more.


Extended Third Party Liability

Extended Third Party Liability provides coverage in excess of $200,000 if you get into a crash outside of BC and injure someone or damage their vehicle. It also covers you if you damage another person’s property such as if you hit and damage another person's fence.


Hit and Run Vehicle Damage

Starting May 1, vehicle damage from a hit and run (when an unidentified driver damages your vehicle and leaves the scene of the crash) in BC is no longer covered by your ICBC Basic Autoplan. This optional coverage provides up to $200,000 if your vehicle is damaged by a hit and run driver.


Tire Protection

If your vehicle tire is damaged from potholes or punctures, we’ll cover the cost to repair or replace your tire.


One Accident Forgiveness

Protects your premium from going up after your first at-fault accident.


Guaranteed Repairs

When your car is repaired by a BCAA Approved Auto Repair Service facility, the repair work will be guaranteed for as long as you own the car.


Lock Re‐Keyed

If your keys or key-less remote are stolen, you’ll be reimbursed up to $1,500 to re-key or re-code the locks.


Pet Coverage

If your pet is injured in a car accident, you’ll get up to $1,000 in coverage for veterinary expenses.


Other Optional Coverages

BCAA offers a wide variety of optional coverage add-ons to help ensure you have the coverage that fits your needs. Learn more.

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Get a quote for BCAA Optional Car Insurance

Plus, BCAA Members save up to 20%*

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*BCAA Member savings on insurance products are only available with Basic, Plus, or Premier Membership plans. For full details, please visit
BCAA Optional Car Insurance and Autoplan are sold through B.C.A.A. Holdings Ltd. dba BCAA Insurance Agency, a licensed insurance agency. BCAA Optional Car Insurance is underwritten by CAA Insurance Company and Autoplan is underwritten by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.